Line of Fall

Miles Wilson, Author
Miles Wilson, Author University of Iowa Press $20 (192p) ISBN 978-0-87745-259-1
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, this debut collection of 14 stories takes as subjects the alienated creative writing professors, loggers, foresters and others who haunt the rural American outbackquotes unnec.? you're right west of the 100th meridian. In ``Fire Season,'' the finest and fullest, a senior forest service official recalls the catastrophic blaze that massacred the first fire line crew he ever worked with. Wrestling with that memory of ``acts in the mortal world'' after 30 years, he tries and fails to fathom the ``inexplicable.'' ``Toliver'' offers a convincing inside view of politics and personnel in the Oregon big-timber logging scene, although this story and ok? others seem too driven by a juvenile fascination with sensitively executed sabotage. On the other hand, the buoyant and enjoyable ``On Tour with Max'' is more like popular journalism: an untenured professor chaperones an alcoholic ``lion'' of American poetry on an NEA-sponsored reading tour. Ex-logger Wilson, now an English faculty member at Southwest Texas State University, proves a handy and arresting operator with first-person narrative and brings rich description to an austere, muffled environment. (Dec.)
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